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Pop Quizzes...They Rock Our Boats

Posted By Jay Block, Thursday, March 19, 2020

The Coronavirus from a sailor's perspective


Don't rock the boat? Yeah, right. Go tell that to the Coronavirus, a pop quiz that is rocking the world's boat in ways we've never experienced, at least in our lifetime. Honestly, there are some pop quizzes I could do without... and this would be one of them!

A pop quiz is a test that arrives totally unexpectedly. Out of left field. For example, I am an excellent driver; my dad taught me well. I've never been in a car crash... 50 years of driving, mind you. Yet, when I turned 16 and a half and took my road test to get my driver's license, I was so nervous that I went up a one-way street and flunked. Suicide seemed like a reasonable option at the time.

I was an assistant scuba diving instructor in college. In order to qualify to take students out on open water dives, I had to take an open water test for instructors. No problem, right? Well, not until my instructor pointed out that I had put my wet suit on backwards. Pop quizzes, they rock my boat.

Unexpected tests are pop quizzes

The truly unexpected pop quizzes are the worst. Remember getting those suckers back in school? The teacher arrives in class, you believe it will be an easy class, and then WHAM - with a devious smile, the teacher hands out the pop quiz. What a great way to ruin a day. Pop quizzes, they rock all our boats!

  • Flunking my driver's license test was totally unexpected. A pop quiz.
  • Putting on my wet suit backwards was totally unexpected. A pop quiz.
  • And the Coronavirus pandemic was totally unexpected. A pop quiz.

The seasoned sailor knows empowerment is not for wimps

Any idiot can make it through a good day. Actually, that's the name of one of my audio-books. But isn't this true? It doesn't require any special skill, mind-set, or discipline to make it through a cream-puff day. But when the sea gets rough and the wind blows as if the universe was taking its last deep breath... it's not the rough seas and unrelenting winds that matter most. What matters most is the set of the sail: how masterfully we navigate stormy seas - like a seasoned sailor.

When a pandemic storm, like the Coronavirus, impacts the globe and our very lives, we need to muster an impenetrable resolve that creates a force-to-be-reckoned-with "character." And it's the make-up of one's character" that is the building block for maintaining an empowered mindset. And the seasoned sailor knows an empowered mindset optimizes his skill set - the set of the sail. He knows he must keep his wits about him. He must stay calm, in control, and 100% determined to weather the storm. He is resilient.

  • The Sailor is resourceful. Facing calamity, he is calm because when one is calm, one comes up with near-miraculous options, the backbone of solutions. The sailor knows that it's NOT a lack of resources that poses problems navigating out of the storm. The real culprit is a lack of resourcefulness. Resourcefulness, it is one of the greatest gifts human beings have. A seasoned sailor - he is resourceful under pressure.
  • The sailor has faith. Faith in a higher power. Or, perhaps in her skills. Maybe in her crew members or the vessel itself. Hey, maybe it's in the great sea god, Poseidon. Perhaps, all of the above. When we dial up our faith (whatever that means, individually) and actually have faith, our faith will produce the results we seek - and we'll defeat the Coronavirus.
  • The sailor is a funny guy. It's a medical fact. Humor IS the best medicine. The Coronavirus is no joke, and the havoc it's causing is certainly not funny. But we have to use our force-to-be-reckoned-with "character" to seek out pockets of laughter and humor. Watch the comedy channel 5 times more than you do the news. Watch funny and wacky movies, not Love Story or Fatal Attraction. Seek out the humor and funny moments even in the midst of chaos and uncertainty... Laugh!
  • The sailor controls what she can control. She reasserts a sense of control over fear and uncertainty, without overreacting and risking panic. She stays informed, mindful, observant, and fully engaged without overdoing it. In the case of the Coronavirus, we need to focus our attention on what we have control over. We have control over social distancing, monitoring our temperature if we get sick, and carrying and using hand sanitizers. We have control over our hygiene, who we avoid, and our attitudes. When we control what we can control - tough times get easier.
  • The sailor focuses on calm seas when he's in stormy seas. It's been said hundreds of ways. "Focus on what you want, not what you have." "Begin with the end in mind." "Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, you can achieve." The Law of Attraction states that "whatever we focus on, we attract." When we invest our time visualizing and planning for a better future, a better future will appear sooner rather than later. When we're ill, it's better to have healing thoughts than to rehash the illness over and over again in the theater of our minds. So focus on healing thoughts.


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Mary Schumacher says...
Posted Thursday, March 19, 2020
Thank you for those words of wisdom. As you said, resourcefulness is key. I'm using this time to figure out how I can adapt my business to this new environment, and also help those in need.
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